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Not to be Captain Obvious, but I am all for making your home look good, especially considering this is primarily a home decorating blog.
But sometimes, every once in a while, I prefer to keep those “old” design aesthetics and work with them, instead of against them.
I’m talking about My Jungle Room.
In the Jungle Room, or the den if you want to be so boring as to call it that, we kept the original wood paneling.
I will be the first to say that my initial instinct when I saw this space was to rip all the paneling out. However, budget and seeing a friend’s paneling in action helped to change my mind and give it a whirl. Here’s what the space looked like before:
Sexy, no? hehehehe
Here’s what I did to make that paneling work and look good.
1. Paint the trim
I first saw painted trim paired with paneling at my friend Kellie’s house. She had paneling in much of her den and kitchen and had painted the trim in those areas black. It gave off a really vintage, retro kind of vibe to me and I liked that.
I painted all the trim, the bookshelves, the ledge that runs along one side of the room and the fireplace Limousine Leather by Behr, which is my go-to black paint color. After doing that, the paneling was definitely looking better, but I wasn’t completely sold just yet.
2. Bring in solid colors on furniture.
From that point, I decided that to make the paneling more of a backdrop rather than a focal point, I needed to bring in more solid colors on the furniture.
Luckily, I found this sofa on Craigslist and it worked perfectly. It added more black into the space which helped to pull out the black on the trim even more.
I also brought in these solid navy side tables, which brought more color into the space. Side note: I am planning to paint these red, which I think will look even better in the jungle room.
3. Create multiple focal points.
I know. I’m probably breaking some design rule with this one. That never stopped me before and I certainly didn’t plan on letting it stop me now though. Once more, to make the paneling seem like more of a backdrop, I created two different focal points when you first walked into the room. The first was the fireplace.
By painting the fireplace a solid black, it actually stood out more, rather than blending into the paneling as it did before with the reddish bricks.
I also created another focal point above the sofa.
There, I used the ledge above the sofa to place a vintage brass lamp, the Ocean Avenue art, a family picture and antlers on the wall.
4. Use eye-catching art.
This one is kind of a no-brainer. What’s the best way to distract someone’s eye? Give them something eye-catching to look at.
Of course, you just saw the vignette above where I did this with the Ocean Avenue art above the sofa. I also did it on the fireplace mantel.
On the fireplace, I used a traditional piece of art, this cheetah print, and something a little non-traditional, but that grabbed the eye’s attention – those little red cowboy boots.
Also along the fireplace mantel is a framed record, mine and Grunt Labor’s song, and some DIY text art that also snags the eye with it’s red hue.
5. Layer in texture and pattern.
Not only did this final trick help to make the jungle room a tad more cozier, but it also brought in other elements that worked well the paneling – texture and pattern.
The biggest way I brought these two things in was with the rug.
Without the rug, the floor would have been quite bland. The pattern and texture of the zebra print rug worked well to bring the eye to the floor.
I also used the snakeskin lamps, green throw pillow and black and cream pouf that you saw in earlier photos above to bring in more texture and pattern.
I realize wood paneling is still something many would prefer to ditch. That’s cool – to each his own. Around here though, we’ll be flying our freak flag in the jungle room clad with 70’s wood paneling – and loving every minute of it.
Shop the Jungle Room…
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